Nikon 120-300MM F/2.8 Zoom Lens

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
threw the lens
threw the lens Senior Member • Posts: 2,749
Re: Nikon 120-300MM F/2.8 Zoom Lens

PerfectPoms wrote:

threw the lens wrote:

Hand holding was never really on the cards, unless you bodybuild over two hours per day.

It's a 3Kg item.

120-300 was strictly for the monopod for me.

Even the 150-600 are easier to handhold at 2Kg than this.

But I wonder what percentage of users will hand hold the 120-300? I think this lens will be killer popular for pro sports shooters - when pro sports start up again, assuming photographers will be on the sidelines. I would guess that most will use a monopod?

I was really hoping to be able to use the 120-300 hand held, but I find a zoom lens harder to support AND operate the zoom often than an equal weight prime. I NEVER use my Nikon 300mm 2.8 AF-S II D on a monopod/tripod. It is 5.7 lbs, 3/4's of a pound lighter than the current 300 2.8 VR II.

I know a big guy who walks around a bit with his 300 2.8 but mainly it's on the monopod.

The 120-300s are balanced differently, they're longer, and you have to operate the zoom potentially.

I bought the Nikon 500 f4 G last summer to test it and it was easy to hand hold - but I cheat: I sit on the ground supporting the lens on one or two elbows on my knees.

I did shoot my 180-400 hand held for over 3,000 shots a few weeks ago on a day that I only took out my groundpod and gimbal, and it turned out where I was shooting I couldn't use it:

And I once took 18,000 photos in one day hand held using the 200-400 f4 on a D3. THAT was a BIG mistake. I couldn't LIFT my left arm for a week after that. It was then that I bought my first tripod and gimbal head.

When I was young I would do ten hour days handholding 70-200 and a second body. All this stops being cool when you're older.

But I'll be interested in how well balanced the 120-300 is. Is it terribly front heavy the way the 200-400 is? I suspect not.

If it's like the Sigma Sport it won't be front heavy so much, the problem was that the front element was 105mm, the barrel of the thing is thick, it weighs 3Kg and you probably have to operate the zoom without jogging the focus, being a bit careful handling it so you don't place too much stress on the camera mount or let it hang from your neck.

Just doing test shots was enough to convince me I should try to avoid handholding it wherever possible. There's not much point as it's not steady like that, and it's more  vulnerable.

I can't wait until the 120-300 is in a store near me so I can fondle it. Will it be balanced like the other big prime E FL lenses (like the 500 f4 E GL)?

But whenever I ask the owner of a pretty large camera store near me about whether he has anybody else ordering that lens - he reacts like he's never heard of that unicorn ...

Because it costs 3x the price of the Sigma Sport it's probably more of an agency purchase.

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